Oil Co. was founded in 1924 by Burt E. Metcalf and E.
C. Barnhardt who recognized the need for the delivery
of heating fuel to homes in the surrounding area of
Quincy, Ohio. The company began operation with one horse
drawn delivery wagon equipped with a hand pump. Deliveries
were made using a 5 gallon bucket to transfer product
from the wagon to the customer’s home storage
tanks. A bulk storage plant was built near the railroad
train station so that bulk fuel could be received from
years following the depression, fuel oil usage grew
and replaced kerosene as the main heating source for
rural homes. With the increased demand for products,
Hi-Grade bought a new delivery truck that allowed for
faster delivery of larger quantities of fuel to the
consumer. In addition, a new 2 bay service station was
built to provide full service automobile fueling for
In 1955, Bob Melhorn, who had
worked at Hi-Grade Oil for much of his young life, bought
E. C. Barnhardt’s half interest in the company.
Bert and Bob worked together until Bert’s retirement
in 1980. Over those years, Hi-Grade made numerous changes,
upgrades and additions to the operations. A significant
change was Hi-Grade being tapped as the new marketing
distributor for Pennzoil Lubricants.
In 1988, Bob Melhorn welcomed
his son-in-law, Kent Witt, into the business. A new
vision and growth opportunity emerged as the company
expanded into the propane and commercial fueling business.
New propane bulk plants were built in Quincy and Sidney.
These modern facilities position the supply and distribution
of the product so that
the highest level of service could be made available
to our customers. In addition, a commercial fueling
facility was built in Sidney, to meet the needs and
growing demands of local and regional businesses.
Hi-Grade Oil Co. was
chosen in 2001 to be the authorized distributor for
ConocoPhillips in west central Ohio. To accommodate
the continued growth in the Pennzoil consumer products
and the expansion of the ConocoPhillips lubricants line,
a new 10,000 square foot warehouse/office facility was
built in Sidney. This facility strategically positioned
Hi-Grade Oil Co. to respond quickly and effectively
to customer supply requirements.